COLUMBIA — Gov. Haley said that she supports allowing people to carry firearms -- with or without permits, concealed or in the open -- after signing into law another bill Tuesday allowing people with concealed weapons licenses to carry into places that serve alcohol.
The bill Haley signed into law at a news conference at the State House would allow people to carry licensed concealed weapons into bars and restaurants as long as they do not drink alcohol and as long as there are no signs posted prohibiting concealed weapons.
The point of the bill, Haley said, is to allow responsible gun owners to carry their firearm with them into a restaurant instead of leaving it in the car.
“The idea of going into a restaurant and having to leave it in your car causes concern on whether it will be stolen...because as a CWP holder you are responsible for your gun,” Haley said. “When it is not with you, you are concerned about who else it could be with or if somebody else could get it.”
This is not a guns in bars bill, Haley said, saying she wanted to clear up what she called “misconceptions” about the intent of the bill. “It was never a guns in bars bill.”
After the bill signing, the governor shared her position on another pending Senate bill that says it is a 2nd Amendment right to carry a firearm.
That bill would do away with permitting, fees and training requirements for carrying weapons.
“I think criminals are dangerous, and I think that every resident should be allowed to protect themselves from criminals,” Haley said.